Sunday, April 21, 2013

Earth Day 2013…..the face of climate change

Earth the third of the nine planets, surrounded by an atmosphere is the only planet in the universe that supports life, therefore, there is a need to conserve it to ensure it remains sustainable. The concept of Earth Day was first initiated during a UNESCO conference in San Francisco, USA by John McConnell in 1969 where he proposed the first day of spring in the northern hemisphere on 21st March referred to as Vernal Equinox the time when the Sun crosses the equator making the length of night and day equal in all parts of the be commemorated. A month later a separate Earth Day was founded by United States Senator Gaylord Nelson as an environmental teach-in first held on April 22, 1970 which was thereafter launched internationally as a day to create awareness and focus on combating environmental issues.

Earth Day as an environmental movement has been celebrated globally on 22nd April for over 40 years now with a variety of activities to promote environmental awareness and identify ways to improve our environment and make a difference. This is now coordinated globally by the Earth Day Network. The global theme for this year 2013 is “The Face of Climate Change".
Earth Day
Climate change is of growing concern globally. There is a call for all Government, non-governmental organizations, civil society, private sector, charity organizations to work together to ensure the protection of the environment.
The Globe
Theme: The face of Climate change
Every day should be set out by people all over the world as a day of action to positively influence human attitudes and provoke policy changes with regards to effects of climate change and control measures to mitigate them.
The climate plays such a major part in our planet's environmental system that even minor changes have impacts that are large and complex.
Climate change refers to the changes in the statistical distribution or properties of the climate system when considered over a long period of time. The major concerns of climate change are not the natural earth processes causing changes in the atmosphere but man’s activities that alter the environment bringing about changes in the ecosystem.
Plant a tree
Studies over the last 30 years has shown that climate change affects people and the environment in various ways with an increasing threat to extinction of the natural habitat. This change in nature has very serious implications for the people, the environment and economic system.

Climate change and its impacts:
Global Warming: Increasing temperature of the earth surface (average air) and water system (ocean temperatures) due to green house gases and depletion of the ozone layer leading to melting of the polar region and Arctic sea ice. Studies since 1961 show that the average temperature of the global ocean has increased to depths of at least 3000m and that the ocean has been taking up over 80% of the heat being added to the climate system.

Unpredictable effects on the world's water systems: Due to the increasing levels of seas, a lot of areas are now prone to floods. In Nigeria for examples the northern states that are normally drier are experiencing floods leading to displacement of residential home, destruction of farmland, erosion. Increasing extremes of drought and flooding have become very common, causing displacement, erosion and conflict and less fresh water means less agriculture, food and income.
Deforestation: Trees help to purify the air, improve water quality, keep soils intact, provide a source of food, wood products, livelihood, medicines, and a habitat to most of the world’s most endangered species. Forests also help protect the planet from climate change by absorbing massive amounts of carbon dioxide (CO2), a major source of pollution that contribute to climate change. The increasing rate of deforestation by logging and burning to clear land for agriculture, livestock and construction releases huge amounts of carbon dioxide and other harmful greenhouse gases into the atmosphere (estimated at 20 percent of global emissions).

Food security: There is a significant risk of increased crop failure, loss of livestock and local food security. In some areas with extreme drier/warmer or wet conditions predicted, inconsistency of these changes will affect agriculture practices thereby affecting agricultural production, human health and livelihoods, as well as people’s purchasing power, food markets and food security on a household level.

How Can I participate?
This is a clarion call for all. As individuals; adopt more sustainable lifestyle, monitor your carbon footprint, purchase greener alternative products, use sustainable transportation, reduce human emissions of green house gases, plant trees to expand forests (reforestation), use renewable energy sources and promote energy efficiency. As government or inter-government, adopt cleaner technologies, set temperature targets, emissions tax, carbon trading, and implement environmental strategies and policies.

What action plan do we have as individuals, organization or the government to combat these imparts, are there are controls we can use to minimize the effects of climate change? Take an action today! The earth is our heritage, let us ensure we adopt greener lifestyles and sustainable activities to ensure we conserve the environment for future generations.

Written by O’ Reese of En-pact Solutions Limited, 2013
Twitter: @O Reese2


No comments:

Post a Comment